Aussies crush Canada by seven wickets
BANGALORE — Australia’s openers put on an emphatic display to follow the performance of their bowlers as they crushed Canada by seven wickets in their World Cup Group ‘A’ match yesterday.
It took Australia’s unbeaten run in the World Cup to 34 matches stretching back to 1999. They go top of the group.
Having already booked a place in the quarter-finals, Australia first rippled out Canada for 211 after some initial resistance, and then openers, Shane Watson (94) and Brad Haddin (88) chased down the majority of those runs.
Watson and Haddin saw out the initial overs and took the score to 94 in 21 overs and then cut loose after taking the batting powerplay.
Watson, dropped in the second over by Rizwan Cheema, was the more aggressive after the powerplay, hammering nine fours and four huge sixes in his 90-ball knock.
Haddin rode his luck and matched Watson shot-for-shot in his 84-ball innings until his luck finally ran out in the 29th over when he was caught behind off the bowling of John Davison, who retired from international cricket after this match.
Four balls later Watson was caught on the boundary off the bowling of Harvir Baidwan trying to reach his century with another six.
Australia captain Ricky Ponting was reasonably satisfied with the performance against a team which were not really in the same class as the world No 1 side.
“Things went not too bad. They caught us on the hop a little bit with the way they started. I thought their top four or five batted really well,” he said.
“They got themselves a reasonable total but then the boys played really well and Watson and Haddin were outstanding.
“We haven’t fully been tested yet. We know we’re going to be tested against Pakistan in a couple of days in Colombo (Friday) and we look forward to it.”
Earlier, Canada could not capitalise on opener Hiral Patel’s whirlwind half-century as the Australian pace bowlers put on a fearsome display of bowling to run through the North American’s middle and late order batting.
Opting to bat after winning the toss, 19-year-old Patel slammed a 45-ball 54, including one six each off Brett Lee, Shaun Tait and Mitchell Johnson in his hour-long stay at the crease.
Canada blazed 77 in 10 overs and Patel eventually fell trying to whack the fourth of the Australian pace quartet, Watson, for a six.
After Patel’s exit, Canada’s run rate slowed dramatically as their captain Ashish Bagai (39) and Zubin Surkari (34) rebuilt the innings and took the score to the 150 mark in the 29th over, before both fell to Tait. (Reuters)